Review: Semispecific

As with most everything associated with Cryptic, the glasgow-based incubator of outre art events as consistently memorable as they are baffling, Semispecific was an experience that’s hard to put into words. To put it reductively, the event resembled something akin to a highbrow club night condensed into an hour and held in an exhibition space – part performance, part installation and part party. Utilising a twelve speaker surround sound system, searing white strip lights embedded in the walls and ceiling, and five suspended screens onto which abstract images were projected, artists Charlie Knox and Euan McKenzie created an engulfing multisensory experience in which the whole room seemed to come to life in time to the music. While audience members were free to move around the space as the wished, most stayed fixed to the spot, transfixed by the deluge of sensory information pouring in from all sides. 

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Review: Cattle & Cane

The Mumford’s might’ve jumped ship already, but the bill at King Tut’s on Wednesday night proved the folk-pop fire is far from extinguished, especially as far as younger ears are concerned. Openers Michael and the Moonshine punched far above their weight, dazzling early comers with their considerable musicianship during rowdy jam passages in which tenor sax and bluesy organ swapped solos over the agile thrum of an upright bass.

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Review: Diva and Flea by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi

It’s a familiar story, even to children. Two people from different walks of life discover an unlikely affection for one another despite their dissimilar lived experiences. More than likely that disparity hinges upon class. The template is rampant in Disney alone and the Lady and the Tramp is an obvious touchstone for Diva and Flea: A Parisian Tale, the children’s picture book from celebrated author Mo Willems (of the Pigeon and Knuffle Bunny series) and Spiderwick Chronicles’ illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi. Diva and Flea are different species – Diva is a terrier while Flea is a felix cat – but this is a surface level deviation in an otherwise similar tale of animal companionship across social boundaries.

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Review: Grandaddy

It’s a good job Grandaddy faithfuls have had plenty practice waiting. At nearly an hour after the doors were supposed to open, the lengthy queue in Bristo Square was only moving backwards, yet the crowd remained in good spirits. After all, what’s an extra hour in the cold when it’d been ten years since the Jason Lytle and company visited Scotland with new material?

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